Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Phone Kidnapping Scam

Someone has requested The Online Citizen to pass on this scam alert to the public. We are not able to confirm the news.

Phone kidnap scam Singapore

From TheOnlineCitizen:

A citizen allowed us to share this information with the public

< My mum got a call 9:30 this morn fr no 0092357658. A man claimed he had jus kidnapped her daughter(me). Then follows a lady crying on the phone in mandarin "妈妈 妈妈 快救我 快救我 出事了 出事了"the man then continue to say he had just killed someone and is on the run. He needs 20k to flee. He ask for my mum's location n if she's alone in the office. Later when he heard voices of her colleagues, he got angry and said "you lied that you r alone, now I am going to kill ur daughter. Come collect her body in 2 mins" >

The mum who received the call on last friday made a report on the night itself to the Singapore police. Do be advised on such scams and warn elderly parents who would need to be alert to such occurrences. Callers are from overseas and will get victims to do money transfer via western union which makes it difficult for police to track.

This piece of news arrives during this period of time when the police is still investigating the attempted kidnap reports but there is definitely no link between them.

It has been a known fact that such phone kidnapping scam has long existed. Even the recently ended drama show on channel 8 "Rescue 995" starred by Yvvone Lim, Fang Zhan Fa, Tay Ping Hui and Ou Xuan has a scene that Yvvone Lim's brother (in the show) tried to scam their grandma together with his friends.

This is a kind of confidence trick. The scammer would claim that his team has kidnapped the victim's child or grandchild. As the victim loses her calm, the "kidnapper" would make her "son" or "grandson" to cry for help. It is not easy to verify the voice over phone, especially when the source of screaming is a distance away from the scammer's phone. Moreover, when the victim is in a shock, there is a higher tendency that she would fall for the hoax.

People who are sharp enough would have tried to call the "hostage" to check. However, there are cases that the victims' relatives cannot be reached, they take in the scammers' words and hand over the "ransom".

It seems that the scammers are doing random calling to pick up their victims. We have heard from a targeted person staying in HDB flat that after she slammed the phone years back, the scammer did not bother to call her back. Her neighbour was, in fact, targeted within the same day as well.

Since the use of mobile phone is common, it is definitely easy for anyone to call her relative to check the status to confirm that the caller is a scammer. Everyone should remind the elderly at home about such kidnap hoax so that they will not fall for the trick.

New ideas would emerge everyday and the scammer may put in more "dressing" to the scam. Everyone should always stay vigilant.

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